*This is the story of my oldest brother Conn and how he turned his life around. I am so proud of you Conn!
The prodigal son in the Bible took his inheritance and went away and squandered it on wild living until he was forced to live with the pigs. The 21st century prodigal son was a little different. He didn’t have a father’s inheritance so he racked up credit card debt. The 21st century prodigal son also lived a double life. He always went to church on Sundays with his parents and could fit right in with church people, but each night he would have dinner with the family and then disappear to meet friends who were unknown to his family. These friends were bar hoppers. His family also was not aware that their son was promiscuously involved with women. How he never got an STD is a mystery.
Conn grew up in a Christian home and had attended Christian schools all the way through high school. He was very involved in church activities, including Sunday night and Wednesday night programs. Conn’s rebellion was mostly acted out in secret. Even though Conn never touched alcohol until he was 20, his rebelliousness started much earlier. His early shortcomings consisted of getting in trouble in school, not doing his homework, having a foul mouth, and talking back to his parents. His intent was never to hurt anyone, he just wanted to have fun. The world held much appeal to him, and the world LOVED Conn. Anyone and everyone loved Conn, even the teachers who he endlessly frustrated. Conn has always had a way with people and people were naturally drawn to his happy go lucky, outgoing, and fun loving personality. All along, his younger brother Jordan chose the staight and narrow path, making it difficult for Conn to keep his other life a secret.
Conn and Jordan’s dad was a very consistent father who held high standards for himself and for his family. All of the children loved their dad, yet had a healthy fear and respect for him. Were it not for the guidelines that Conn had grown up with, he would have likely strayed much earlier. But like people everywhere and in every age, we all have the ability to make choices that influence our destiny. Once Conn was out of high school and more independent he gravitated increasingly towards the world and what it had to offer.
Things really went down hill when Conn’s appearance matured and he realized that woman were interested in him. He always was popular in school, but never had a girlfriend. Once the girls started to show interest, he couldn’t resist. From the age of 20-26 he spent 6 nights a week in the bars. Conn started attracting attention from bar owners because of his ability to entertain. Most of the bar owners would give Conn free drinks and appetizers to keep him at their bar. He sometimes would hit 4 or 5 bars in one night. People started to realize how popular Conn really was. This popularity caused the vast majority of people he came in contact with to want to be around him, including the girls. All this attention went to his head quickly. Before he knew it, he had compromised his morals in so many ways. His popularity increasingly became more important to him than the standards he was raised with. Life started getting very complicated, requiring more and more lies to keep his story straight.
As time went on this lifestyle started to wear on him. He realized his credit card debt was starting to become unmanageable, his friendships weren’t deep and meaningful, and he wasn’t respecting women the way he should. This lifestyle hadn’t brought the happiness that he thought it would.
One night Conn was driving home after a night at the bars only to be pulled over because his license sticker has expired. When the police man asked if he had been drinking, he said, “yes.” The policeman asked him if he would take a breathalyzer test and he said, “sure.” The results came back and the police said, “sorry bud, you are just over the limit. I am going to have to take you downtown.” He handcuffed Conn and opened the front door to which Conn exclaimed, “I get to ride shotgun?!” Conn entertained the police man all the way downtown and before leaving Conn said, “I have never arrested such a nice guy before.” Conn was then put into a holding room with a vast array of criminals. Soon, he heard a voice yell out his name. He turned around to find one of his customers from the bank, a large black man, who said “what in the world are you doing here?” A few minutes later Conn ran into another large man who Conn knew from the bar scene. The two of them stayed on both sides of Conn for the remainder of the night. At one point they wanted to transfer Conn to another room and he asked if he could bring his “bodyguards” along with him. They allowed it and so his two friends and him spent the rest of the night together in jail.
Conn recalled that night as, “the worst night of his life.” He was scared to death for his parents to find out that he had gotten a DUI and that his hidden life would no longer be a secret. That night was a wake up call but not enough to change.
Conn had been attending a church and a small group on Sunday nights. He had been somewhat honest with this small group that his life was not what it should be. This small group showed him a lot of love. He became good friends with many of them and even started to be interested in one of the girls. He was still living a double lifestyle though. He would hang out with his Christian friends for a while, and then head over to the bars. As time went on he really started to like this one girl in his church, yet he was also talking to a few girls from the bar at the same time. In one day, eight of his good friends from church confronted him at different times and told him NOT to pursue this girl. They told him that he was not the Godly man that he should be and that he finds his worth in girls. At first Conn was really mad, but later it got him thinking about his life.
The next night Conn was down in the basement evaluating his life. He realized his life was going down the toilet. He had no honest relationships with his parents, siblings, friends, or co workers. That night he thought about all the things his dad had taught him about God and he realized that he needed to make a decision. He was either going all in to giving his life fully to Christ, or he was going to go all in to the world and never stepping foot into a church again. He was tired of living a double life of one foot in the church and one foot in the world. He started to think about all he knew about God.
THEN EVERYTHING CHANGED…
What was baffling to Conn was that the Lord was willing to take the form of a man, come here to earth, live a perfect life, and then die on the cross for HIS sins after spitting in his face for the last 26 years. As Conn pictured Jesus being beaten, whipped, spit on, and crucified for HIS sins he realized that he could NEVER EVER AGAIN commit those sins on purpose. Conn was completely broken and decided that he was going to devote his life to serving the Lord, spreading the Good News, and being a light on the mountain top.
The next morning he walked into his dad’s office, confessed all of his sins, and told his dad that he had committed his life to God. He knew that he would have to prove to his dad that he had truly changed. He was willing to do whatever it took.
Since that day in April of 2009, Conn has been alcohol free. He also has given up his addiction to women and to relationships. He realized that if he didn’t know how to love God, that he wouldn’t know how to love a women either. Since that day he has been single in order to become the man God has called him to be and to give his future wife and family his absolute best. Conn has payed off all of his credit card debt and has re built all of the relationships that he had previously broken.
Conn is a true testimony of what God can do in a person’s life. God helped Conn to give up his addictions overnight. He has never stepped foot into those bars again and he has been able to be a light to all those who knew the “old” Conn. He showed that with Gods help, he can be the Godly man he was created to be despite his previous life.
The Prodigal Son came home…Here is a picture of Conn, Dad, and Jordan
Love to Love,
p.s. Notice that both Conn and I rededicated our lives back to God in April of 2009! That was a GREAT year 🙂